The Griffiths Report April Club Day 2015
Grey and gloomy skies the order of the day for the Oakleigh April Club Day. Lots of rain on Saturday at different times and the forecast was for showers today as well, so it didn’t look like being a relaxing day of just squirting on a bit of chain lube between heats and going out again. Wets were popped on rims and eyes cast skywards as activities commenced.
Unfortunately, since no one else was available I was kept busy doing the track safety lights today, so the race report this month is just a summary.
Restricted 125 Light
For the Final it was Scanlan who led Filikotzias across the line, Stewart home in 3rd.
Who thinks up some of these new class names? This one sounds like an instruction to go and graffiti a hardware store. Heat 1, and 2nd fastest qualifier Vern Kranz home 1st ahead of Anthony Westaway then a big gap back to Robert Baldacchino. Heat 2 much closer as Kranz and Westaway duelled, Kranz emerging victorious, Mick Fisher coming through for 3rd.
Westaway and Kranz had a good dice for a number of laps at the start of the Final before Westway pulled away, and led Kranz then Baldacchino across the line.
Junior National Heavy
Bryce Woollard fastest qualifier here, but John Doria led the first few laps until a spin in the greasy conditions saw him drop to 3rd, Woollard the new leader, Henry Johnstone then Doria as they crossed the line. Heat 2 was a very close fought affair, Woollard again home first ahead of Doria and Nicholas Carroll, then Johnstone and Kyle Frencham.
The Final saw Doria and Woollard engaged in a great battle in which Woollard eventually gained the upper hand, Carroll through to 2nd, then Doria
A P Plater off pole here with the unheralded Steve Tsesmelis leading for a number of laps until he was overhauled by first Damon Woods and then Jack Lawson and finally Austin Blanchard as they crossed in that order. Heat 2 and Tsesmelis a spin early so Woods to the lead and drove away, but Tsesmelis held on to 2nd then a big gap back to Blanchard and then Chloe Potter, Lawson a DNF.
Woods took off at the start and was never seen again by the rest of the field for the remainder of the race. He was back at his trailer by the time Lawson crossed in 2nd and then Tsesmelis doing a great job to recover after a spin (or maybe two) to come 3rd.
TAG 125 Light
Jamie Westaway fastest qualifier then Daniel Griffin, Westaway the winner, Daniel Frencham, Justin Carless, Griffin and then Andrew Sotiropoulos behind him. Heat 2 saw some great dicing early on for 1, 2 & 3 with Westaway again the winner after he built a gap ahead of Carless, Griffin and Frencham.
In the Final Frencham gained the upper hand to lead home Carless and Westaway.
Only 2 of them turned up this month, but Christian Pancione and Aaron Cameron agreed to race given the opportunity by the Club, and with Cameron not racing another class he wouldn’t have turned a wheel otherwise. Heat 1 saw the rain tumble down with both of them out there on slicks and after a great battle (for a 2 kart race) Pancione finally spun with a couple of laps to go, so Cameron immediately received the chequered flag. At the start of Heat 2 Cameron seemed to have a problem and looked like we might see another early finish, but the kart got going, although not before Pancione had disappeared into the gloom, so Pancione the win this time.
In the 2 horse race that was Junior Clubman this month, all eyes were on whether Pancione could recover from his Heat 1 DNF which saw him start the Final off last, and claw his was back up to pole sitter Cameron. With very little delay forming the karts up, we soon had a green and away we went – a train of karts (well, a very small train) snaking their way around the twisting Oakleigh circuit. Eventually I got tired of trying to liven up a report about a race between only 2, so we’ll cut to the end where Cameron was victorious, Pancione home in 2nd.
Pouring rain had preceded Heat 1 of Cadet 12’s and I was absolutely flat out with the lights as little guys spun and recovered all over the track – at one stage 3 of the 5 light points were yellow! In the end pole man Kobi Williams took the win ahead of Braydon Callaghan and Kai Upiter. Heat 2, and while the conditions were a little better, the winner was the same: Williams, this time Upiter, then Callaghan.
The Final not much different from the Heats with Williams again saluting ahead of Callaghan and then a big gap back to Upiter who was pressured home by P Plater Matthew Hillyer.
TAG 125 Heavy
Seward and Carless duked it out for the first few laps of the Final with Carless eventually pulling a gap, Seward then Maruszak the finishing order.
Junior National Light
Pancione and Johnstone diced away for the whole race with Pancione crossing 1st in the end, Jai Sparey home in 3rd.
Restricted 125 Heavy
Payne away to a good start off Pole in the Final, Todd and O’Connor right with him until O’Connor DNF’d coming out of JSKC, so Payne and Todd out front and finished in that order, Matthew De Stefano 3rd and a gap to Tim Martin and Gavin Dorning.
Clubman Light / Clubman Heavy
Clubman Light the Feature Class this month, but run in conjunction with Clubman Heavy, and in Heat 1 Matthew McLean fresh from a very polished performance at Todd Rd on Easter Sunday where I watched him streak to victory ahead of some well credentialed competition at the first round of the new look “Nationals”, took the lead in Light and looked like he would go on with the job. Disaster struck about halfway when he beached it at JSKC corner and DNF’d, handing the win to Mark Appleby ahead of Angelo D’Ettorre, and in Heavy Ashley Seward led home Dylan Slits. Heat 2 and no bloopers for McLean this time as he recorded the win, then Appleby and Ben Mouritz (returning to Oakleigh after a few years absence) home in 3rd. In Heavy the same combo of Seward and Slits followed by John Reynolds.
McLean away to lead the Final in Light and Seward leading the Heavys. At the chequered flag it was still McLean, then D’Ettorre and Appleby, and in Heavy it was the familiar triumvirate of Seward, Slits and Reynolds.